Anyone else feel the cultures of the five races have lost too much of what they were in the past? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Anyone else feel the cultures of the five races have lost too much of what they were in the past?

Kovac.4372Kovac.4372 Member ✭✭

I could skip humans and sylvari as the first are quite generic anyway and the latter are new in Tyria and still shaping.

However the others:

  • The norn used to be solitary hunters, seekers of fame and glory, each hunter a one-man army basically as seen at the end of GW1 when only a couple join you to fight the Great Destroyer. What we have though is a pretty large population of them, scattered about Kryta mostly, evenly spread out in the three orders and in the Pact ... completely domesticated compared to their ancestors, wearing uniforms and following orders as part of a hierarchy ... if we went into it too much we could even imagine norn dishwashers, because hey someone has to do that job in the Pact as well.

  • the charr basically united into a great military machine, finally liberated Ascalon, an unstoppable force that was only stopped by the waking of the dragons. However NOW, as the threat doesn't seem that much serious anymore, where's the renewed drive to continue the campaign that was halted because of the Mursaat and that whole thing? Charr are predators, not some tame kittens. If not on the official front, there should at least be widespread discontent and conservative factions rising up among the charr, calling for war. Plus the same about the orders as with the norn.

  • the asura were forced to the surface by the Destroyers and basically Primordus. They immediately took control of their surroundings and assumed an intellectually superior position towards the other races. The others were inferior and not equal. Did that change? Their cultural stance should be supremacist, distrustful to the other races. Maybe they're not inclined for conquest but there should be a more defensive approach to dealing with bookahs. Maybe building a wall? Like the tengu did? Also it wouldn't be farfetched to picture the asura dreaming of being the masters of Tyria, as they are superior to everyone else.

Comments

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Races had to be diluted somewhat for playability reasons and to make them fit the Orders a bit better. They still have a certain uniqueness which hasn't been completely rubbed out, it's just less than it was.

    I understand the reasoning and in some ways it makes more sense to show such cultural progression as the World opened up 250 years on. I just found the human story and interacting with more nuanced versions of the races more interesting.

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Yep while there certainly are some cultural elements remaining in the story the open world element has more or less negated a lot of cultural traits.

    Seeing Norn and Charr roaming the world and acting more or less like humans does take you out of the world a bit.
    I get that there is supposed to be this feeling of unity and cohesion but Gw2 does take it just a bit too far imo and that does tend to diminish so dominant racial traits of certain races at times..

    Imo this is also a big side effect of a multi race option and the problem with the commander needing to be the same regardless of his race.
    It maybe a controversial opinion but I think Gw2 would have been a lot better off if the game didn't give you the ability to choose your race and much like the first game we we're all forced to be humans.
    This would certainly have saved a lot of the developers time when it comes to armor sets etc as well as diminished problems like large overbearing Charr and Norns messing up jumping puzzles for other people etc
    As much as I like my various race characters given the option for faster development time and preserving the races cultures better i'd have gladly given up the race option.

    There could have been many various reasons to then venture to Norn and Charr lands trying to unify the races being part of our personal story etc
    But Gw2 is still a fine game as it is and it's not like they could really make that kind of change now lol

    Should a Gw3 ever come around though.. it may be something the Devs should consider going back to.. 1 playable race, but that doesn't mean it has to be human.
    Would also be interesting to see a Guildwars where we can only play as Sylvari.. or Charr.

  • perilisk.1874perilisk.1874 Member ✭✭✭✭

    It's true that, in large part, the problem is the Pact, due to how prevalent it is, and how it's supposed to show strength in cooperation. Still, they went too far in trying to write off the common cultural attributes of the various races (which, being tied to their physiology, are probably a bit deeply rooted) -- cooperation doesn't need to mean "sameness".

    NPC Norn should be bigger and badder -- their individualistic, solitary hunter type of existence only works for them because a single Norn is worth several humans or charr, at least in terms of strength, especially when they go beastmode (which they should actually do more often). They're apex predators, but not pack animals like humans or Charr. There should be fewer Norn who actually join the Pact and wear the uniforms, and more Norn who go where the Pact goes because the Pact wants to hunt dragons, and Norn want "dragon-slayer" in their legend. In either case, they should actually fight like Norn rather than human Pact members with big models.

    NPC Asuras should not be melee warriors -- they are puny, and they have golems for that. If an Asura is a frontliner, he's going Tony Stark style. In a golem, backed up by more golems. If no golem is available, a ray-gun will do. But, really, isn't that dangerous combat stuff what dispensable bookahs are for? You see Asuran tech in the Pact, but not as much as you might expect given they have the most advanced technology and the most brilliant minds -- and once they join, they're going to grab sharp pieces of metal and fight like bookahs, for some reason. It's debatable whether Norn or Asura get the worst watering down as Pact members.

    NPC Charr tend to be fine, since the Pact maps pretty well to Charr society, down to the three-Order/three-Legion division, and Charr tech shows up a lot in the Pact. Sylvari are also mostly fine in terms of writing (though you don't see much of their plant "tech"), and you can't really go wrong with humans.

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I don't know, I see it differently. Cultures do change over time. While there are a handful of deeply religious people who practice their religion fundamentally, most religions have relaxed from the old days. 250 years is a pretty long time.

    Look at the behavior of any group of people over 250 years and you'll usually see some kind of change, particularly when you add war or great destruction into the mix. Sure the norn used to be individuals, but then Jormag killed one of their totem animals and they were driven out of their homeland, lead by four spirits of the wild. They founded Hoelbrak around an unbreakable dragon's tooth. They're not idiots. They know one guy isn't going to run into a dragon and kill it with a sword. They had to adapt.

    Sure the charr were originally united against humans. But they won that battle, they took Ascalon and times have changed. They have other, bigger problems.

    Even within the boundaries of the pact, I see plenty of individualism in how different races react to stuff or handle their decisions.

    All races become more homogenized as they're exposed to other races. Even Native Americans picked up stuff from the colonists.

  • perilisk.1874perilisk.1874 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    Look at the behavior of any group of people over 250 years and you'll usually see some kind of change, particularly when you add war or great destruction into the mix. Sure the norn used to be individuals, but then Jormag killed one of their totem animals and they were driven out of their homeland, lead by four spirits of the wild. They founded Hoelbrak around an unbreakable dragon's tooth. They're not idiots. They know one guy isn't going to run into a dragon and kill it with a sword. They had to adapt.

    Except that the Norn didn't change, culturally -- only the ones in the Pact. Same for the Asura. Fighting inquest, or dealing with Phlunt, they feel like the pompous little genii they're supposed to be. While both are somewhat changed from GW1, most of what people are basing their expectations on is PS, which shows how each race is unique, and not much time has passed since the start of the game.

    It's just when they join the Pact that they lose their unique attributes and become interchangeable units with slightly bigger or smaller models. Just because all Pact Commanders need to have equal abilities doesn't mean all Pact members do, or should. The Pact could absolutely let each race do its thing more, adapted as appropriate for the applicable Order. It's like the Avengers. You have the military one, the genius inventor, the super-strong nordic warrior, the green one, and some lame humans who shoot arrows or are hot or whatever.

    The problem with the blandness of the Pact is that it's our main opportunity for exploring those differences. After the early stages of the personal story, NPC we deal with are almost always either (1) Pact, (2) human, (3) NPC races, or (4) racial antagonists, who necessarily diverge a bit from the main culture and who have less dialogue, if any.

    Late-stage PS: Pact.
    LS2: Pact, Zephyrites (humans), and some Asura, mostly Inquest.
    HoT: Pact and NPC races; Sylvari-centric, but doesn't speak much to their culture outside of the crisis.
    LS3: Humans, Asura (mostly Inquest), Dwarves, Mursaat, Sons of Svanir, Kodan, Quaggans, and Pact.
    PoF: Humans, dead humans, divine humans, and human-soul-powered-armor.
    LS4: Humans, dead humans, and furry humans. And Pact, to judge by the trailer.

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @perilisk.1874 said:

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    Look at the behavior of any group of people over 250 years and you'll usually see some kind of change, particularly when you add war or great destruction into the mix. Sure the norn used to be individuals, but then Jormag killed one of their totem animals and they were driven out of their homeland, lead by four spirits of the wild. They founded Hoelbrak around an unbreakable dragon's tooth. They're not idiots. They know one guy isn't going to run into a dragon and kill it with a sword. They had to adapt.

    Except that the Norn didn't change, culturally -- only the ones in the Pact. Same for the Asura. Fighting inquest, or dealing with Phlunt, they feel like the pompous little genii they're supposed to be. While both are somewhat changed from GW1, most of what people are basing their expectations on is PS, which shows how each race is unique, and not much time has passed since the start of the game.

    It's just when they join the Pact that they lose their unique attributes and become interchangeable units with slightly bigger or smaller models. Just because all Pact Commanders need to have equal abilities doesn't mean all Pact members do, or should. The Pact could absolutely let each race do its thing more, adapted as appropriate for the applicable Order. It's like the Avengers. You have the military one, the genius inventor, the super-strong nordic warrior, the green one, and some lame humans who shoot arrows or are hot or whatever.

    The problem with the blandness of the Pact is that it's our main opportunity for exploring those differences. After the early stages of the personal story, NPC we deal with are almost always either (1) Pact, (2) human, (3) NPC races, or (4) racial antagonists, who necessarily diverge a bit from the main culture and who have less dialogue, if any.

    Late-stage PS: Pact.
    LS2: Pact, Zephyrites (humans), and some Asura, mostly Inquest.
    HoT: Pact and NPC races; Sylvari-centric, but doesn't speak much to their culture outside of the crisis.
    LS3: Humans, Asura (mostly Inquest), Dwarves, Mursaat, Sons of Svanir, Kodan, Quaggans, and Pact.
    PoF: Humans, dead humans, divine humans, and human-soul-powered-armor.
    LS4: Humans, dead humans, and furry humans. And Pact, to judge by the trailer.

    I disagree. I mean people with all sorts of backgrounds join the armed forces and within the constraints of the armed forces they serve differently. That is some of them argue with orders, sometimes, or are smart alecs, some salute smartly and act like Belinda Delaqua. I certainly see a difference between the way races interact with the pact. I mean they signed on for that ride, so of course they follow the rules to some degree. But their individual approaches are going to be different.

    And yeah, norns that join the pact have changed, because norn don't have armies, just heroes. But at least some norn feel they need more to defeat the elder dragons. That the bravado of the four guys showing up to fight the Great Destroyer in Guild Wars 1 doesn't really work against more dangerous foes.

  • Clyan.1593Clyan.1593 Member ✭✭✭

    I agree, at least from what the races "feel" like on the surface. It might be that if you go and look for it closely you still find a lot of culture - but on the surface all there is to me personally is the pact, which includes all the races fighting for the same goal. That's probably also the reason why I find GW2 so generic in that aspect. The potential is huge, but the casual experience lacks a lot in that regard.
    In GW1 all the races seemed to be more on their own, but that game's story was told on a vaster scale anyway, so it felt different automatically. You'd start in the past of the human ascalon, then the present human ascalon, venturing to kryta, meeting a lot of tengu, then into maguuma wastes (if im not mistaken), where the white mantel did their crimes, then into the crystal desert, where you'd ascend and fight the forgotten, then far shiverpeaks where you'd meet the deldrimor, and finally you'd arrive on ring of fire islands. So each place had it's distinctive culture and race. With the expansions you'd also meet the norn and the asura, which again where introduced really well imo.

    Now in GW2 all these races, with the sylvari in addition, have turned tyria into a globalized world, connecting each main city with portals, resulting in a continent devoid of cultural mystery. I personally really miss that feeling of traveling through the world and discovering new races.

  • I remember lw2, the sw camp. Lots of norn there who were not members of the pact but still were around, for the fun.

    You could even find a norn trying to play with the beasts in the middle of the jungle. So what is the problem?

    That there aren't many non-pact norn in Elona? Well, maybe that's because the climate there REALLY disagrees with their physiology?

  • Kovac.4372Kovac.4372 Member ✭✭

    @VAHNeunzehnsechundsiebzig.3618 said:
    That there aren't many non-pact norn in Elona?

    No, no, in fact that would be exactly the thing I'm speaking against.

  • Castigator.3470Castigator.3470 Member ✭✭✭

    Generally speaking, the races have maintained their identities, but the commander feels very far removed from that. Add to that that we didn't have much contact with the major civilizations aside from the Asura, I see how this conclusion is easy to make.

    For me this issue is not as pronounced, as I move my characters to their respective race's capital to log off for the day, maybe visit the starting area and listen in on some of the old NPC chatter. The races really feel distinct there, and the Elonians are okay too, it's just that after so much time in the desert I sometimes wish I could make a status report with Smodur, or get some update on the Human/Charr diplomatic front. We've seen some of it in "Head of the Snake", which was a nice touch.

    As for GW compared to today (1070 AE to 1332 AE), it is inevitable that societies change over the course of 262 years. Maybe they won't change substantially, but there will be so many people with their own ideas, who have come and gone, that society will be different for it.

  • SunTzu.4513SunTzu.4513 Member ✭✭✭

    Generally speaking, the races have maintained their identities, but the commander feels very far removed from that.

    This. My Charrdian feels more and more non charr like till the last chapter of the personal story. Sure she don't need to be the stereotype of a war driven blood legion legionaire but she feels completly stripped away from her complete charr idententity. A lot of the story parts and dialogues feels just not right. On top of this i have to join the Shining Blade... From the view of my human Mesmer, the acting as commander and whole story telling seems way more fitting.

  • XenoSpyro.1780XenoSpyro.1780 Member ✭✭✭

    @Susy.7529 said:
    Agreed, all races have become basically Human.
    At least in the newest stories.

    The entire main story concerning joining an Order and everything after including up into PoF and its Living World is literally designed around being a Human or Salad.

  • perilisk.1874perilisk.1874 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @XenoSpyro.1780 said:

    @Susy.7529 said:
    Agreed, all races have become basically Human.
    At least in the newest stories.

    The entire main story concerning joining an Order and everything after including up into PoF and its Living World is literally designed around being a Human or Salad.

    Pretty much. Well, it's probably not too bad as a Norn. But I can't think of a single instance where a Snaff savant PC invents a technical solution to the problem of the day, and a Charr probably wouldn't have quit the Pact after the PS was over.

    It's not like any PC ever really had a compelling reason to quit, other than that we incidentally got caught up in whatever BS Scarlet was pulling, and were written as wanting to sort that out instead of focusing on the less immediate issue of the other dragons. But it's not like we couldn't have just handed it off to the local authorities and said "while you six whole polities deal with one clever salad criminal, we'll just go and focus our efforts on preparing to deal with the other five existential threats to the world as we know it".

  • i think what the OP is trying to say is that when you join the pact and later stories, when you have a group of NPC soldiers with you, they are different races, but all act the same as generic soldiers, and yes i agree, they should act more like there race and not like generic soldier/NPC

  • Jimbru.6014Jimbru.6014 Member ✭✭✭
    edited January 8, 2019

    Never forget that anything written by a human writer, even it's about another race, will have some element of "human" to it. It's the only viewpoint we have, and it finds its way into our writing whether we like it or not. Which is a good thing; otherwise, the other races might be totally unrelatable.

    Be that as it may...

    In the real world, it's a common saying that the best cure for bigotry is to travel. In Tyria, the Asuran gate and waypoint networks, airships, and other mechanisms have greatly facilitated that. And probably nobody in the world has traveled more than the Commander.

    In the larger picture, as the races have mixed socially via trade and travel over the last 250 years, their societies have evolved accordingly, with a common language, exchange of ideas, and so forth.

    Digging more into details...

    Humans and Norn look mostly alike except for their size, and they have many cultural things in common, so it's natural that they'd get along fairly well from the start. Though looks are deceiving to how much they actually are different.

    Regarding the "warrior culture" of the Charr, all such societies in the real world ultimately had one of two things happen to them: they either were eventually defeated and destroyed, or they became assimilated with the cultures they conquered. The Mongols are a perfect example of the latter; they conquered China, and within a century, they had become mostly indistinguishable from their supposed subjects. The Charr have had centuries of contact with humans for the same sort of thing to occur.

    The intellectual superiority of the Asura comes with a painful self-recognition, not often addressed in the game, of their physical inferiority. An Asura may think a Norn is dumb as a brick, but that doesn't change the fact that without magitech, the Norn could stomp the Asura flat. Asura tolerance of the other races reflects this as a necessity for survival. And at times in the game, you'll note the Asura being more than a little disturbed when the other races turn out to be not as dumb as they think.

  • Kovac.4372Kovac.4372 Member ✭✭

    @Jimbru.6014 said:
    Regarding the "warrior culture" of the Charr, all such societies in the real world ultimately had one of two things happen to them: they either were eventually defeated and destroyed, or they became assimilated with the cultures they conquered.

    Except in the real world we have cultures of the same species ... in GW2 we have different sentient species with different cultures. To be as short as possible - cats can't be vegans.

  • perilisk.1874perilisk.1874 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Kovac.4372 said:

    @Jimbru.6014 said:
    Regarding the "warrior culture" of the Charr, all such societies in the real world ultimately had one of two things happen to them: they either were eventually defeated and destroyed, or they became assimilated with the cultures they conquered.

    Except in the real world we have cultures of the same species ... in GW2 we have different sentient species with different cultures. To be as short as possible - cats can't be vegans.

    Good thing humans left their cows behind when they left, I guess. Or maybe Charr already had their own cows, I dunno.

  • Castigator.3470Castigator.3470 Member ✭✭✭

    @perilisk.1874 said:
    Good thing humans left their cows behind when they left, I guess. Or maybe Charr already had their own cows, I dunno.

    The charr have their own cows. Though it could be argued that they took over the cattle, when they conquered Ascalon. (I'm afraid we have no sources to confirm or deny the origin of cows in Tyria.)
    In case you didn't visit Diessa Plateau, they have a lot of ranches, where they breed their cattle. Smokestead has a cattle pen right next to the starting area. And the charr like to eat. Poultry, beef, pork, mutton, venison, including deer or rabbit, drake, devourer (eggs), all kinds of fish, large birds like moa, if it has meat a charr will probably have eaten it at some point.

  • perilisk.1874perilisk.1874 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Castigator.3470 said:

    @perilisk.1874 said:
    Good thing humans left their cows behind when they left, I guess. Or maybe Charr already had their own cows, I dunno.

    The charr have their own cows. Though it could be argued that they took over the cattle, when they conquered Ascalon. (I'm afraid we have no sources to confirm or deny the origin of cows in Tyria.)
    In case you didn't visit Diessa Plateau, they have a lot of ranches, where they breed their cattle. Smokestead has a cattle pen right next to the starting area. And the charr like to eat. Poultry, beef, pork, mutton, venison, including deer or rabbit, drake, devourer (eggs), all kinds of fish, large birds like moa, if it has meat a charr will probably have eaten it at some point.

    I'm aware they have a lot of cows in GW2 as a main food source, I just don't remember seeing them with any in GW1. The humans had them, since one of the initial pre-searing quests involved a bull. So maybe the Charr started breeding cows left by humans, or maybe they already had their own and we just didn't see them.

  • Kovac.4372Kovac.4372 Member ✭✭

    @perilisk.1874 said:
    I'm aware they have a lot of cows in GW2 as a main food source, I just don't remember seeing them with any in GW1. The humans had them, since one of the initial pre-searing quests involved a bull. So maybe the Charr started breeding cows left by humans, or maybe they already had their own and we just didn't see them.

    Charr might have just been eating humans or grawl.

  • witcher.3197witcher.3197 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 8, 2019

    This is most apparent in character interactions. 99% of human and charr get along just fine which makes no sense. A thousand years of hatred does not go away in ~5 years especially when much of the land is still disputed and skirmishes happen on a daily basis.

    There's next to no difference between the interactions of any two races. Remember those blood legion charr in the silverwastes complaining about having to take orders from "mice and talking cabbages"? Now realistically THAT is how charr should view others.

    Fields of Ruin is actually great at tackling this issue and the beginning of an uneasy alliance, but it doesn't really spill over to any other part of the world or the story (and even there characters forget and forgive a bit too easily for the sake of the plot).

    The Vigil/Whispers/Priory thing watered down the races way too much IMO, not to mention the Pact. We should be moving away from it.

  • Jokubas.4265Jokubas.4265 Member ✭✭
    edited January 12, 2019

    The original post starts out by saying that humans don't really matter because they're generic anyway. One of the things I absolutely loved about Guild Wars 1 was that humans weren't "generic", because each campaign focused on a totally different culture (and even Ascalon and Kryta were very noticeably different). I was really excited to finally return to Elona in Path of Fire for this reason, but it didn't turn out as I hoped (although I loved the expansion overall). I realized a major reason why, though, which might help Arena.net out in the future.

    In Guild Wars 1, even if you used your existing character for a different campaign's story, the story was still a standalone story (for the most part) told from the perspective of a new cast from that culture. In Guild Wars 2, the entire game is one giant linear plot that follows the exact same cast (of course, characters do come and go). So when we do go somewhere like Elona, we're not seeing it from their perspective. Sure, there were new characters from Elona, but they're still "foreign" from the perspective of our recurring ones. I think this drastically limits how much we can explore these new lands and people.

    The other difference between the two games is, of course, that Guild Wars 1 only allowed you to play humans. This definitely helped encourage the stories to try to make different groups of the same race (humans) feel distinct from each other. Guild Wars 2 unfortunately has leaned on the stereotypical fantasy crutch of each race being a stand-in for a culture instead of each race having their own diversity of cultures (including blurring several of the old human cultures together). I personally wasn't that big of a fan of Sandswept Isles and the story felt like a detour to me, but I definitely appreciated the fact that it introduced a different ethnicity of Charr.

    I think game balance also contributes, but it's not a reason it has to happen. Player Norn, for instance, need to be on the same level as other players. This doesn't need to be true for NPCs, though. There's no reason we couldn't be seeing a lot fewer Norn NPCs, but the ones we do all be Veterans at minimum, or maybe even Champions. The racial abilities are a big issue here. They were made more or less useless so that people wouldn't pick race based on abilities, but the shapeshifting used to be a major element of the Norn. I can't help but feel the relative uselessness of the abilities for players has led to Arena.net to slowly get used to the idea of Norn not doing those things. It always seemed weird that Eir didn't shapeshift for an epic last stand, and has Braham done it ever?

    Sure, being away from their homeland and being forced to interact with a lot of other races is going to blur these lines, but it's not going to eradicate them. Also, it just makes things boring. Norns without shapeshifting are just big humans. The Norn had their goofy side in Eye of the North, but it feels like they don't have anything else now. I almost was going to say that Asura have it okay because we see their unique style a lot, but even that has changed. In Guild Wars 1, they borrowed from the planned Utopia ideas and I really liked their look. In Guild Wars 2, however, they seem to have no character outside of being mad scientists.

    When it comes to NPCs, being careful on where we see them also makes a big difference. Some races should rarely or never show up in certain roles, not because they can't, but because it detracts from what makes them special. Being careful of audience perception here is more important than what's actually canonical. It might seem counter-intuitive to say that you show cultural diversity by showing less variety in choices, but it's a matter of letting them shine. If you see everyone doing everything, then everyone starts to feel the same and you don't get a sense of their history and their people.

    So yes, I do feel that the cultures of the races have lost too much of what they were in the past. A lot of things have contributed, but I think they're mostly solvable. Don't worry so much about how the NPCs are portrayed compared to the player (Norn NPCs can be rarer and tougher than other NPCs). Don't forget to highlight what makes them special (have Norn shapeshift more often) without making it cartoonish. Throw a bone here and there about distinct cultures for the other races (the Olmakhan were a good start), but be careful to give them breathing room (I don't want to return to Cantha, for instance, and focus more on some new ethnicity of Asura than the human cultures that haven't gotten exposure yet). Finally, consider giving us a standalone story in the future with a new cast (I don't mind a few hand waves if I use an existing character for such a story).

    As a side note, I'm still disappointed that new races were invented in Eye of the North in preparation for Guild Wars 2, rather than using the ones that already had presence in Guild Wars 1 (outside of charr). I'd still really appreciate seeing the tengu like we used to and show a side of the centaur that doesn't just make them look like a generic enemy.

  • Leo G.4501Leo G.4501 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 13, 2019

    @Kovac.4372 said:
    I could skip humans and sylvari as the first are quite generic anyway and the latter are new in Tyria and still shaping.

    However the others:

    • The norn used to be solitary hunters, seekers of fame and glory, each hunter a one-man army basically as seen at the end of GW1 when only a couple join you to fight the Great Destroyer. What we have though is a pretty large population of them, scattered about Kryta mostly, evenly spread out in the three orders and in the Pact ... completely domesticated compared to their ancestors, wearing uniforms and following orders as part of a hierarchy ... if we went into it too much we could even imagine norn dishwashers, because hey someone has to do that job in the Pact as well.

    • the charr basically united into a great military machine, finally liberated Ascalon, an unstoppable force that was only stopped by the waking of the dragons. However NOW, as the threat doesn't seem that much serious anymore, where's the renewed drive to continue the campaign that was halted because of the Mursaat and that whole thing? Charr are predators, not some tame kittens. If not on the official front, there should at least be widespread discontent and conservative factions rising up among the charr, calling for war. Plus the same about the orders as with the norn.

    • the asura were forced to the surface by the Destroyers and basically Primordus. They immediately took control of their surroundings and assumed an intellectually superior position towards the other races. The others were inferior and not equal. Did that change? Their cultural stance should be supremacist, distrustful to the other races. Maybe they're not inclined for conquest but there should be a more defensive approach to dealing with bookahs. Maybe building a wall? Like the tengu did? Also it wouldn't be farfetched to picture the asura dreaming of being the masters of Tyria, as they are superior to everyone else.

    Politics.

    You should figure if you're going to use that little political jab there toward the end.

    A lot of your points have obvious political events covered in the game that help explain the shifts. Are they organic shifts? Perhaps not, but I can suspend my disbelief when the concept of forces of nature seeking the destruction of all civilization is the driving force of the story plot.

  • @Jokubas.4265 said:

    I think game balance also contributes, but it's not a reason it has to happen. Player Norn, for instance, need to be on the same level as other players. This doesn't need to be true for NPCs, though. There's no reason we couldn't be seeing a lot fewer Norn NPCs, but the ones we do all be Veterans at minimum, or maybe even Champions. The racial abilities are a big issue here. They were made more or less useless so that people wouldn't pick race based on abilities, but the shapeshifting used to be a major element of the Norn. I can't help but feel the relative uselessness of the abilities for players has led to Arena.net to slowly get used to the idea of Norn not doing those things. It always seemed weird that Eir didn't shapeshift for an epic last stand, and has Braham done it ever?

    Yeah this is precisely the thing that I think gets right to the heart of the matter. Yes, player-character balance requires every race be essentially identical in terms of combat (aside from the unique racial abilities that are hardly worth mentioning, as they're usually not worth equipping, ever). However, that need not prevent NPCs of different races from following more of their own racial archetypes.

  • Vancho.8750Vancho.8750 Member ✭✭✭

    Would be cool if the norn elites were just turned into cosmetic thing where it changes your arms into paws and head in the spirit you chose when creating the character with 15 second duration and 5 minute cooldown and maybe able to change this cosmetic at Hoealbrack in the Spirit halls with the shamans.
    Or a new cultural/Legendary armor that transforms from time to time.

  • @Kovac.4372 said:
    I could skip humans and sylvari as the first are quite generic anyway and the latter are new in Tyria and still shaping.

    However the others:

    • The norn used to be solitary hunters, seekers of fame and glory, each hunter a one-man army basically as seen at the end of GW1 when only a couple join you to fight the Great Destroyer. What we have though is a pretty large population of them, scattered about Kryta mostly, evenly spread out in the three orders and in the Pact ... completely domesticated compared to their ancestors, wearing uniforms and following orders as part of a hierarchy ... if we went into it too much we could even imagine norn dishwashers, because hey someone has to do that job in the Pact as well.

    Well, I imagine norn society experienced radical changes after being made into refugees by Jormag. Having to start anew however would be at odds with their loner nature that you spoke about , might be why the norn are scattered everywhere and would join up an organisation essentially being useful due to their inhumane strength

  • dusanyu.4057dusanyu.4057 Member ✭✭✭

    The asura are smart but they are no dummies being overly defensive would comprise the monopoly they have on transporting goods and people quickly ((the even explore the Asura's reluctance to show a side in the book "Edge of Destiny" showing that the Asura were reluctant to put a gate into ebonhawk due to worries that it would antagonize the charr the gate in ebonhawk took a lot of diplomatic posturing from the human queen.

    Sometimes the smartest thing you can be is Neutral especially if you operate the transportation network.

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